Copa Libertadores

The prestigious Copa Libertadores trophy.
The Copa Libertadores is the premier international tournament for South American clubs. The competition admits teams from all ten associations in CONMEBOL, in recent years it also admitted teams from Mexico.

The Copa Libertadores de América South American version of the European Champions League, unlike the European Champions League the Copa Libertadores final is contested over two legs (home and away).It is also completed much more quickly than the Champions League, over half a season, the 2nd tournament Copa Sudamericana takes part in the other half of the season.

Copa Libertadores was established in 1960 and since it's inception it has been won by 22 different clubs from 7 different countries. To date the tournament has been dominated by Argentine, Brazilian and Uruguayan teams, with only 6 of the 51 titles having gone to clubs from other nations and three of them to Paraguayan side Olimpia.

The most successful team in the history of the tournament are Argentine club Independiente who won it seven times between 1964 and 1984. Fellow Argentine team Boca Juniors have been catching them up, they won three Copa Libertadores in four years between 2000 and 2003, they now have six Libertadores championships and are keen to steal Independiente's nickname "El Rey de Copas" (The king of cups).

Argentine defender "Pancho" Sá
is the only playerto have played
in six Libertadores winning teams
The highest scoring player in the history of the competition is Ecuadorian striker Alberto Spencer who hit 54 goals in 87 games for Uruguayan side Peñarol and Barcelona Sporting Club back in Ecuador. The player with the most Copa Libertadores medals is Argentine defender Francisco "pancho" Sá who won four titles with Independiente and another two with Boca Juniors.

Argentine manager Carlos Bianchi is the most successful manager having won tournament for the fourth time in 2003 (1 with Vélez Sársfield & 3 with Boca Juniors) to surpass the record three championships won by Estudiantes de La Plata manager Osvaldo Zubeldía.

Only two clubs have ever won the tournament in their first appearance in the competition, Flamengo in 1981 and Argentinos Juniors in 1985.

The unluckiest team in the history of the tournament are América de Cali who lost all four of the finals they appeared in (1984, 1985, 1986, 1996). The only other side to have lost four finals are Peñarol of Uruguay, but they have also won the tournament five times. Argentine giants River Plate share the record for the most semi-final appearances with Peñarol, however River Plate managed to lose 9 of their 13 semis while Peñarol won 9 of their 13.

The record for the most comprehensive win in the Copa Libertadores final was Boca Juniors 5-0 thrashing of Brazilian side Grêmio in 2007.The highest scoring final was the 2008 final between Liga de Quito of Ecuador and Fluminense of Brazil which finished 5-5 on aggregate and was won by the Ecuadorian side on penalties.

The biggest win and the highest scoring game in the entire history of the tournament was Uruguayan side Peñarol's 12-2 win against Bolivian side The Strongest in 1971.

Only three men have ever won the Copa Libertadores as player and coach, they are Luis Cubilla, José Pastoriza and Nery Pumpido.

List of champions

1960 - Peñarol (Uruguay)
1961 - Peñarol (Uruguay)
1962 - Santos (Brazil)
1963 - Santos (Brazil)
1964 - Independiente (Argentina)
1965 - Independiente (Argentina)
1966 - Peñarol (Uruguay)
1967 - Racing Club (Argentina)
1968 - Estudiantes (Argentina)
1969 - Estudiantes (Argentina)
1970 - Estudiantes (Argentina)
1971 - Nacional (Uruguay)
1972 - Independiente (Argentina)
1973 - Independiente (Argentina)
1974 - Independiente (Argentina)
1975 - Independiente (Argentina)
1976 - Cruzeiro (Brazil)
1977 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
1978 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
1979 - Olimpia (Paraguay)
1980 - Nacional (Uruguay)
1981 - Flamengo (Brazil)
1982 - Peñarol (Uruguay)
1983 - Grêmio (Brazil)
1984 - Independiente (Argentina)
1985 - Argentinos Juniors (Argentina)
1986 - River Plate (Argentina)
1987 - Peñarol (Uruguay)
1988 - Nacional (Uruguay)
1989 - Atlético Nacional (Colombia)
1990 - Olimpia (Paraguay)
1991 - Colo Colo (Chile)
1992 - São Paulo (Brazil)
1993 - São Paulo (Brazil)
1994 - Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina)
1995 - Grêmio (Brazil)
1996 - River Plate (Argentina)
1997 - Cruzeiro (Brazil)
1998 - Vasco da Gama (Brazil)
1999 - Palmeiras (Brazil)
2000 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
2001 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
2002 - Olimpia (Paraguay)
2003 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
2004 - Once Caldas (Colombia)
2005 - São Paulo (Brazil)
2006 - Internacional (Brazil)
2007 - Boca Juniors (Argentina)
2008 - LDU Quito (Ecuador)
2009 - Estudiantes (Argentina)
2010 - Internacional (Brazil)

Number of championship teams by nation

Argentina22
Brazil 15
Uruguay 8
Paraguay 3
Colombia 2
Chile 1
Ecuador 1

Most succesful teams

TeamTitles
Independiente (Argentina)7
Boca Juniors (Argentina) 6
Peñarol (Uruguay) 5
Estudiantes (Argentina) 4
Nacional (Uruguay) 3
Olimpia (Paraguay) 3
São Paulo (Brazil) 3

Top Scorers

PlayerNationalityGoals
Alberto Spencer Ecuador 54
Fernando Morena Uruguay 37
Pedro Rocha Uruguay 36
Daniel Onega Argentina 31
Julio Morales Uruguay 30

Further reading

Copa Libertadores at Wikipedia
Copa Libertadores stats at RSSSF
Records and statistics at Wikipedia
Top scorers at Wikipedia

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